Descartes

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Rene Descartes AKA The "Cartesian" AKA "Poitevin"

France / Netherlands 1596 – 1650

Comments: Math; deductive reasoning, Neoplatonism; created Cartesian coordinate system — allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes; father of analytical geometry, & is sine and cosign existed before him, I haven't found it; studied Aristotelianism, but instead of his Inductive method, championed deduction from known Truth; "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am); provided the basis for the calculus developed by Isaac Newton and Leibniz; discovered law of refraction 16 years after Snell; in 1619, sought the Brothers of the Rosy Cross for help in mathematics, was accused of being one of the Invisibles in 1623; believed magnetism was a flow of screw shaped particles, only able to "enter" from the positive pole and leave through the Negative pole; believed the pineal gland united body, mind and soul; Animals are soulless automatons because, lacking intelligence, they cannot develop an appreciation of Reason and a soul;


Teachers: Plato; St. Augustine of Hippo; Isaac Beeckman; Zeno; Epicurus; Johann Faulhaber; Father Marin Mersenne; Johannes Valentinus Andreae; Constantijn Huygens, 1643; Herophilus of Alexandria;

Students: Baruch Spinoza ; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; Adrian Baillet ; Queen Christina of Sweden; Franciscus van Schooten aka Frans van Schootan, 1615 – 1660; Adrien Baillet, author of Vie de Monsieur Descartes, 1691;

Friends: Duke Maximilian of Bavaria; Galileo; Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia; Gabriel Naude

Enemies: John Locke; Thomas Hobbes; Bishop Berkeley; Jean-Jacques Rousseau; David Hume; Blaise Pascal; Francis Bacon; Athanasius Kircher‎; Pierre Gassendi; Barbara Ehrenreich;

Organizations: sought the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross aka the Rosicrucians but advised by Jesuits to avoid them

Author: Meditations on First Philosophy ; Passions of the Soul; Discourse on the Method (1637); Regulae ad Directionem Ingenii (Rules for the Direction of the Mind); put Treatise on the World on the back burner after Galileo's problems with the Church; Exercises on solid elements, 1620 -1623; The Mathematical Treasure Trove of Polybius, Citizen of the World, 1619, address the Rosicrucians, similar to Johannes Valentinus Andreae's hero Peregrinus;

Quotes: "Whenever anyone offends me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it'; adopted the Rosicrucian motto Bene dixit qui bene latere — “he lives well who lives hidden”;



Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Descartes; The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians: the world's most mysterious secret society by Tobias Churton, 2009 ; A MAN OF MISCONCEPTIONS: The Life of an Eccentric In An Age Of Change by John Glassie, 2012; listen to him here - http://librivox.org/author/4158 ; read him here -http://www.sacred-texts.com/phi/desc/disc.txt and here - http://www.sacred-texts.com/phi/desc/med.txt ; http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/magazine/the-rights-of-man-and-beast.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&region=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article ;